Imagine, as a musician staging a tour during Covid-19, you actually embraced the opportunity to perform in total isolation by creating a concert series at the most breathtaking destinations across the United States. That’s exactly what pianist Holly Bowling did when she announced plans for a groundbreaking virtual concert tour dubbed The Wilderness Sessions, featuring extraordinary solo performances filmed live at some of the most spectacular locations in the country.
“The idea for the Wilderness Sessions was born out of frustration with not being able to tour or play to live audiences due to the pandemic,” says Bowling. “After canceling show after show, I started looking for other avenues to play and launched a series of streaming concerts from my living room, but after a few months, that had run its course. We hatched the idea for a tour of audience-less shows out in the wilderness while on a hiking trip in the Sierras earlier this summer.”
The Wilderness Sessions celebrates Bowling’s new solo piano album Seeking All That’s Still Unsung. It began at California’s Lake Tahoe, and spanned destinations from Yosemite National Park to Utah’s famed Bonneville Salt Flats to South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. The second leg kicked off today in Casco Bay, Maine and will follow Bowling to New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. All performances will be broadcast on Bowling’s official Facebook page. As Bowling digs into her second leg of the tour, I checked in with her to talk airplane playlists, her favorite terminal and why embracing jet lag can lead to travel magic.
Holly Bowling’s Travel Intel:
My go-to airline is: Alaska Airlines. They don’t cram their seats together and they have healthy food, friendly U.S.-based customer service and an amazing loyalty program. More than anything though, I love them because they’re super reasonable about flight changes and checking oversize bags. As a musician I end up traveling with a lot of heavy gear and I appreciate not being charged a ridiculous amount of money to bring my instrument and equipment with me.
My favorite seat on the flight is: the window, so I can sleep. Also, I love seeing the cities and natural landmarks from the air. It’s easy to forgot how incredible it is that we get to casually take in the view from 35,000 feet. I try to spend some time staring out the window every flight.
My go-to in-flight beverage is: sparkling water and a glass of wine, unless it’s a morning flight. Then everything else takes a backseat to coffee.
My favorite airport/terminal is: SFO Terminal 2. I love the bright, airy feel and all the natural light. Plus there’s good food options, security moves quickly, and it never feels crowded.
The second I get on a plane, I: wipe my seat area down and then put my headphones in. I use the same custom-molded in-ear monitors I use when I’m performing, which sound